There are three different volunteer-internships:
- EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS – Youth Connectors – ESC – volunteers build contacts with and between young people in a region as part of the Bridgebuilders Community.
EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS is part of the Erasmus+ Program. Atlantic Bridge sends and hosts volunteers.
- Circuit Riders Next Generation team – this is a travelling team
- Youth Ministry Builders – arranged between different churches
1. EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS VOLUNTEER – Youth Connectors
Our Intern-volunteer program is a 3, 7, or 11 month program for young people who like a challenge and who may never have had the opportunity to do something unique; experience life in another country and culture. It usually starts in October or February each year and ends in August or December. It is a key part of the Bridgebuilders Community and equips young people for the challenges of a multicultural world; to gain competence in cross cultural communication help build the many bridges that need to be built in our world today.
As a volunteer you have the chance to learn some practical tasks from fixing bikes, managing a flower garden or growing potatoes, etc. to fixing damages on an old building, painting, cooking, but also creating publicity materials or helping to lead a youth group.
When you join this program you will live and work together with other Europeans and Americans and, as a team, work together to accomplish the mission of building bridges both locally, regionally and on a European level. Your home base during this time is The Vierslag, a large building in the middle of a small village in the Zeeland region of The Netherlands.
From the start we assign you a personal (development) coach as well as a mentor family where you are able to go for a weekend every four or six weeks providing you with a family away from home.
Through our program you have the chance to share your culture, lifestyle and convictions with others and learn more about theirs. You live and work with other Europeans and Americans your age, meeting and working with young people from all over Europe.
We are looking for flexible, motivated young adults interested in working with young people and motivated to take initiative and to try new things! You would be working in a diverse team with a good level of English. As a team you work together to build a positive influence in a region, taking on different projects based also on the individual talents and interests of the team members. You will be challenged as you learn and adapt to a new cross cultural setting, as you discover the heritage, culture and life among people of a unique region in Europe, and as you share your culture, life, values, convictions and lifestyle with young people in schools, youth clubs and churches. We are looking for applicants from a variety of backgrounds and are especially keen to find applicants who have been active in a local church or youth group. For the Youth Ministry Builders we require a Christian commitment preferably with an active church background.
Interns are encouraged to use their talents and interests to develop their own project or activity(s) within their region.
Support & Mentoring
Interns are supported in their activities by a personal coach and a mentor – possibly also a group of local young people in each region who are the ‘bridge’ to the Dutch culture and youth.
Volunteers and interns live with other staff and volunteers at our center, De Vierslag, in Kruiningen, the Netherlands. De Vierslag is a big house containing three complete apartments, guestrooms, kitchen, living space for volunteers, a hall and the offices of Atlantic Bridge. With two families, guests and volunteers living and working in the same building, it can be a busy place! Everyone has their own space where they can rest and relax. There is a large and beautiful back yard where you can listen to the birds, play with the cat, eat your lunch or read a book! De Vierslag is about 100 metres from the village centre.
TAKE A LOOK at the life of an intern..
If you work with Atlantic Bridge it is important that you like small towns. Kruiningen is a small village in the southwestern part of the Netherlands with a population of 4.000. It’s a typcial Dutch village with several café’s and restaurants. A supermarket, post office / bakery, bank, bicycle shop, appliance store, gift shop, drugstore, hardware store and two hair salons make up the rest of the shopping centre.
The major industries are a french-fries making factory and potato- and onion-packing plants a few kilometres from the village. A camping area, indoor and outdoor pool, sport hall and playing fields provide opportunities for sports and relaxation. A 15th century church and a picturesque windmill built in 1801 (that still runs!) complete the charm of this rural village.
For the non-Dutch, our best offer is for you to walk on a dike. Our region of Zeeland has miles and miles and miles of dikes to keep out the sea! Kruiningen is about two kilometres from the Westerschelde, where a canal cuts through the peninsula and connects inland harbours to the North Sea. A train station two and a half kilometres away connects Kruiningen to the national train system.
The closest city is Goes (pop. 35.000), a 10-minute train ride and 15 kilometres away. Antwerpen, Belgium is 50 kilometres to the south and Amsterdam 170 kilometres to the north. Once an hour there is a direct train to Amsterdam Central Station; the trip takes about two and a half hours.
2. CIRCUIT RIDERS – Next Generation
This is a travelling team(could also be an individual artist or troubadour!). This team is made up of two or three members and a tour guide/leader. You travel in Europe possibly also in the USA connecting the various groups and Bridgebuilders on both sides of the Atlantic. The team takes part of the Internship Training program but starts already in July or August. The team is sent out from The Vierslag for tours that will last between ten days and three weeks at a time, but will also work alongside of the other interns in their respective regions and schools. The Circuit Riders NG will primarily work in classrooms across Europe teaching and inspiring students using music, multi-media, the galaxy of games and cross-cultural training ideas to challenge students to build bridges and break down walls, join local Bridgebuilders and to encourage already existing local Bridgebuilders in their mission.
This team starts in August at the YouthWork Factory training school and ends in August the following year after the International Youth Festival at the Autobahn4 in Germany.
Find our more about CIRCUIT RIDERS.
3. Youth Ministry Builders
This is where you work within a church setting and build bridges to youth within and outside of a church. You may be sent from a church in another country (USA usually) to a church in Europe. Your mission is to serve this hosting church by helping to build up their youth ministry and build bridges with the young people in the church and region.
Atlantic Bridge facilitates and provides the framework for administration, recruitment, selection, placement, training and guidance of the interns. This internship also starts in August at the YouthWork Factory and ends at the International Youth Festival the following year.